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Director, Clark Labs: Center for Geospatial Analytics

Company: Clark University
Location: Worcester
Posted on: January 15, 2022

Job Description:

Category: Staff and Administrators Department: 2611 (IDRISI - General operations) Locations: Worcester, MA Posted: Aug 30, 2021 Closes: Open Until Filled Type: Full-time - Exempt Ref. -No.: 199663 Position -ID: 136058 Share About Clark University:
Founded in 1887 as the first all-graduate institution in the country, today Clark provides graduate and -professional education and promotes a distinctive, rigorous liberal arts undergraduate curriculum situated in the nexus of faculty and student research, much of which addresses challenges on a global -scale. Clark has more than 200 full-time and approximately 150 part-time faculty, 97% of whom hold -terminal degrees in their fields. The composition of the University's faculty and staff reflects an ongoing -commitment to diversity. Approximately 20% of individuals identify as coming from racially -underrepresented groups. Approximately 60% of the University's tenure-line faculty are women, which -is far higher than the national average. Faculty have included a Nobel Laureate, a MacArthur Fellow, 22 -American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows, 8 American Association for the Advancement of -Science Fellows, 21 Guggenheim Fellows, 32 Fulbright Scholars, and 5 former and current geography -faculty as members of the National Academy of Sciences. Faculty regularly are awarded external funding -from prestigious organizations, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, -National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, -National Endowment for the Humanities, Department of Energy, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, -Environmental Systems Research Institute, Andrew Mellon Foundation, and Templeton Foundation. Research and creative excellence are pillars of Clark's mission. Clark's research profile is enhanced by -the presence of research centers and institutes, which include:

  • Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice
  • Higgins School of Humanities
  • Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise
  • Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies Faculty at Clark are internationally recognized for their work. In the fields of environment and -development alone, the recognitions include active participation in the Global Environment Facility, the -Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on -Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the International Arctic Science Committee, the North American -Carbon Program, OXFAM, and the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board, among others. The work of Clark -faculty has also been at the forefront of major research and creative initiatives, such as ongoing NASAfunded research examining the impact of disappearing sea ice in the Arctic, modeling biogenic carbon -fluxes, and integrating in situ sensing and spaceborne observations to understand agricultural -sustainability in Africa. Faculty conduct internationally recognized research on topics such as -exploitative mining practices in South America, quantifying ecosystem services and their values, and -geospatial analyses of Earth seen from space, among others. -Graduate School of Geography -(GSG)
    Founded in 1921, the Graduate School of Geography (GSG) enjoys an international reputation as a -center of excellence in geography. Since its founding, the GSG has played a central role at Clark -University, with its research excellence enhancing the University's global reputation and reach. The GSG -continues to play a significant role in the University's strategic goal of fostering an international -reputation for research, and in attracting students at all levels of the curriculum. Clark GSG consistently -ranks in the top ten of all Ph.D.-granting geography departments in the United States; in the 2011 -National Research Council assessment, Clark tied-ranked as the top Ph.D. Geography program in the -United States. Among the GSG's highest priorities is to maintain and even enhance its current reputation -and top-quality scholarship and teaching.
    GSG is one of very few top-ranked U.S. departments that covers and leads in the full range of the -discipline. It is organized into four sub-disciplinary clusters: Earth System Science, Human-Environment -(includes nature-society), GIScience/Remote Sensing, and Urban-Economic Geography. The -department's strength and reputation have derived in large part from the cross-cutting nature of -faculty research and Ph.D. student interests across these clusters. GIScience at the GSG has long focused on environmental monitoring and modeling, with particular -emphasis on land use and -land cover change, conservation, and biodiversity. In the context of -accelerating climate change, it is vital to keep up to date in these areas, and to add additional -capacities -in the use of GIScience to analyze processes of climate change itself, as well as related developments -such as changes in agriculture. GSG has moved in this direction with recent hires in the areas of -environmental science, agricultural change, and climatology. A new director will be critical in this -strategy and vision of expanding and updating the research agenda of the new Center; integrating more -faculty into its research efforts; and identifying and pursuing new sources of external support while -increasing the GSG's reputation and visibility. - University Leadership
    President David Fithian
    A proud alumnus and a distinguished leader in the world of higher education, David Fithian was named -the 10th President of Clark University in January 2020 and began his duties on July 1. Prior to his arrival, -President Fithian served as Executive Vice President at the University of Chicago. There, he had been a -central figure in the dramatic momentum underway at the institution, with roles spanning -major -operations, academic program development, support of the -University's Board of Trustees, executive -recruitment, and fundraising. He participated in university financial strategy and budget planning; oversaw campus master planning, including architectural design for major capital projects and campus -enhancements; and oversaw the Office of the President and its budget, the Office of Institutional -Research and Analysis, the University's public programs for the arts, and the Marine Biological -Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Before joining Chicago in 2007, President Fithian served for -12 years at Harvard, holding progressively senior positions within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, -including Associate Dean of the Faculty and Secretary of the Faculty. President Fithian -graduated from -Clark in 1987 and went on to earn his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Yale. He has -taught in the departments of sociology -at Yale, the University of Connecticut, and Harvard. The Campus and Worcester
    Worcester is New England's second largest city. Well integrated into the Worcester community, Clark's -70-acre campus is home to 70 buildings, including residence halls and athletic facilities. Boston and -Providence are each an hour from campus by car, and New York City is an easy train ride (or three-hour -car ride) away. Worcester is home to nine colleges and universities. In recent years, many news -organizations? including NPR?have recognized the city as being "on the rise." This is evidenced by the -influx of young professionals from Boston, the emergence of Worcester as a major "food hub" with a -tremendous sprouting of new restaurants and craft breweries, the relocation in 2021 of the Red Sox -minor league baseball team from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and the expansion of flight offerings at the -Worcester Regional Airport. -The city is also experiencing a revolution in biotech and health care. Clark is -located in Worcester's Main South neighborhood. One of the greatest strengths of -Main South is its -cultural diversity, with its vibrant community of immigrants -contributing a wealth of diverse foods and -markets that enrich Clark's surroundings.
    Job Description:
    Clark University invites applications and nominations for an Inaugural Director of a new center for -geospatial analytics (the "Center") that builds on and expands the pioneering work of Clark Labs. Clark -seeks a visionary builder, entrepreneurial leader, and accomplished scholar to serve as the inaugural -director to launch the newly conceived Center. Clark Labs is an historic leader in the field of GIScience -that has always followed Clark's distinctive mission-driven approach. Since its inception, Clark Labs has -developed and applied GIS software and technology to analyze critical questions regarding social and -environmental change, for the benefit of society. Clark Labs and the Graduate School of Geography have -played key leadership roles in the field of GIScience since the 1980s, including the development of -original GIS software, IDRISI/TerrSet. Clark University is unique as a liberal arts/research university with a -world-renowned Geography program that has produced its own enterprise software through Clark Labs. Overview
    Geographic Information Science (GIScience) provides powerful and indispensable resources for -understanding and addressing critical socioeconomic and environmental problems of the 21st -century. GIScience analyzes human and environmental phenomena over varying scales of space -and time, using tools that include satellite imaging, global positioning systems, spatially-explicit -software, and mathematical models. In the past decade, the field of GIScience has entered a -period of extremely rapid progress, precipitated by technological innovations in several key areas, -and Clark Labs is adapting and evolving to remain at the forefront of the field. New remote sensing -technologies allow measurement and monitoring of the Earth with a level of detail and frequency that was unimaginable just a few years ago. We can now connect, synthesize, and extract meaning from data from multiple sources, sectors, and scales in unprecedented ways because of the -explosive growth in the quantity, quality, and coverage of data about the Earth's surface, -combined with rapid advances in computational capacity and breakthroughs in machine learning -For example, analysis of satellite data reveals the pace and extent of ice melt in the Arctic and -deforestation in the Amazon, the impacts of rapid agricultural expansion on food security and -biodiversity, as well as more subtle changes in biogeochemical cycles. The demand for such -insights provided by GIScience is increasing rapidly, as is demand for graduates with the requisite -expertise.
    These new GIScience capabilities and the demands for them are changing how GIScience is -practiced and funded. The growing volume of data requires processing on cloud computing -resources, while the most effective analytical algorithms are more often found in open code -repositories than in enterprise GIS platforms. At the same time, the key players who are seeking?and willing to fund?the answers that the new GIScience can provide, are as likely to be found in -non-profits, foundations, and impact investing firms as they are in government funding agencies. These developments present a major opportunity for Clark Labs, the Graduate School of -Geography, and Clark University. Under the leadership of a new director who will bring critical -knowledge in new geospatial technologies and methods, as well as a broad understanding of and -connections with the key players in this dynamic marketplace, the new Center will play an -entrepreneurial role at the forefront of this rapidly evolving field by expanding into a larger and -more ambitious center of excellence. The Center will -catalyze -synergistic -research -that -uses -geospatial -analytics to address pressing issues of global environmental change, particularly climate -change. The new director will increase Clark Labs' already substantial record of external research -support, facilitate participation by interested faculty from multiple departments across -campus, -and expand Clark Labs' decades-long practice of training students at all levels of the curriculum. - The Opportunity
    The new Center will build upon the tremendous international reputation and capabilities -developed over decades by Professor Ronald J. Eastman, the founder of Clark Labs and long-time -developer of IDRISI/TerrSet software, and a recognized pioneer in the field of GIScience. The -Center's development will coincide with a period of significant expansion at Clark under the -leadership of President David Fithian and Provost Sebasti--n Royo. President Fithian, who assumed -office in July of 2020, intends to advance the University's prestige and standing in higher -education through an ambitious strategy that prioritizes innovation, capitalizes on -Clark's -academic excellence, enhances the University's most distinctive attributes, and expands its -resources. Developing Clark's capacity to conduct GIScience research in support of climate change -solutions will be an important component of this strategy.
    The new director of the Center will play a significant role in developing and executing this strategy -by expanding research and consulting work, with a particular focus on offering knowledge and -insights obtained through cutting-edge GIScience to the socio-environmental sector. The inaugural -director will galvanize Clark's community of faculty, staff, and students to build on its capabilities -and reputation in GIScience. The current operations of Clark Labs (IDRISI/TerrSet software -development and related externally-funded research) will be a subunit of the new Center, while -faculty members will join to expand research and consulting activities within specific focus areas -(e.g., the Carbon cycle). The new Center will be launched in the summer of 2022 with the arrival -of the inaugural director. The director will hold a faculty -appointment in Clark's internationally -renowned Graduate School of Geography (GSG) and report to Yuko Aoyama, the Associate Provost -and Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.
    The director's vision will align with President Fithian's goal of building a "culture of possibility" at Clark, -predicated on increased and diversified revenue streams that will enable the University to thrive over -the next decade and beyond. The director will formulate and articulate the Center's vision, work to -garner buy-in of its value from a wide range of audiences, and engage others in its implementation. The -director must have the ability to inspire others and to expand pride in the University among all of its
    The director will build effective relationships?inside and outside the University?with a broad range of -constituents, including faculty, staff, administrators, students, alumni, Board of Trustee members, -donors, and potential donors. The Director will understand the importance of generating resources to -support the Center's research endeavors, both through philanthropic fundraising and through securing -grants and contracts from a variety of sources.
    The successful candidate should demonstrate the following:
    • The candidate must possess a Ph.D., have experience and reputation at the level of a prominent -and highly accomplished scholar in areas of Geographic Information Science and Geospatial Data -Analytics;
    • A publication record that demonstrates innovation and the use of new GIScience capabilities to -answer fundamental questions related to global change, plus experience teaching at a college or -university;
    • Administrative and management experience with a track record that demonstrates -entrepreneurship and success in securing external funding/projects;
    • Substantial experience and contacts with key players in the broader geospatial arena, ranging -from industry (e.g., commercial satellite providers; cloud computing providers) to nongovernmental (e.g., foundations) and governmental (e.g., NASA, NSF, NOAA, USGS, ESA) entities; -and
    • A proven record of GIScience project management and development, including the creation of -open source geospatial tools, and understanding of cloud computing and advanced machine -learning techniques. Key Priorities and Duties:
      • Successfully launch and lead a new research center as the inaugural director, developing a vision -and strategic plan for the Center in conjunction with the Graduate School of Geography and -Dean of Research and Graduate Studies;
      • Structure and staff the Center appropriately, including the hiring of a Chief Operating Officer, -research staff, postdocs, etc.;
      • Grow and diversify revenues by expanding research consulting contracts, and by engaging with -individuals in philanthropic, impact investment, and public sector organizations;
      • Maintain and expand core research and analytical competencies (e.g., land change modeling) -while building new capacities to apply next generation GIScience to understand key dimensions -of global change, particularly climate change;
      • Further elevate and solidify Clark's reputation in GIScience by developing new policy and public -audiences for the research conducted at the Center;
      • Expand on Clark Lab's decades-long role as a critical site of hands-on education and experience -in GISience at the undergraduate, master's, and Ph.D. levels by working with the GSG, Graduate -Admissions, the School of Professional Studies, and other departments; advise students, and -teach one course per year (with the exception of Year One);
      • Build strong links between the Center and current Clark GSG faculty working in earth systems -science, human-environment geography, GIScience and remote sensing, and those in other -departments with thematic linkages, such as the George Perkins Marsh Institute, International -Development, Community Planning and Environment (IDCE), Computer Science, Biology, -Economics, and Becker School of Design and Technology; and
      • Foster a diverse and inclusive community characterized by a culture of open, thoughtful -dialogue and related action, in line with Clark's mission to develop contributing citizens of the -world.
        Anticipated Term of Appointment
        The role of director is a full-time, 12-month position, with an expectation to teach one course per year -after the first year of appointment, with an initial appointment for a five-year, renewable term -depending on performance. While the director can be appointed as a tenured faculty member at -Graduate School of Geography, the director will serve at the pleasure of the President. Salary is -commensurate with experience and is highly competitive. Anticipated start date is July 1, 2022. Clark University currently requires all employees and students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Exemptions will be made for medical or disability reasons or religious beliefs, and could be made, at the sole discretion of the University, for other well-documented reasons.
        Additional Information:
        Clark University embraces equal opportunity and affirmative action as core values: we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. This commitment applies to every aspect of education, services, and employment policies and practices at Clark. Our commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. All positions at Clark share in the responsibility for building a community that values diversity and the uniqueness of others by exhibiting integrity and respect in interacting with all members of the Clark community to create an atmosphere of fairness and belonging. We strongly encourage members from historically underrepresented communities, inclusive of all women, to apply.
        Application Instructions:
        Nomination and Application Process The review of nominations and applications for the position will commence immediately and continue -until the position is filled. All candidate information will be held in strict confidence. Qualified applicants -should forward an electronic version (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files preferred) of the application to -Clark.CGA@russellreynolds.com. To apply, please submit your CV along with a cover letter describing -your interest in the position, your vision for the new Center, and your professional goals. For fullest -consideration, materials should be received as soon as possible and preferably by September 13th. Jett Pihakis, Ph.D.
        Consultant to the Search Committee
        Russell Reynolds Associates
        Clark.CGA@russellreynolds.com 950 Main Street
        Worcester, MA 0161

Keywords: Clark University, Worcester , Director, Clark Labs: Center for Geospatial Analytics, Executive , Worcester, Massachusetts

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